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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 4:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: TDIH 1974

This performance at the Hollywood Bowl is a fine summer 74 Wall of Sound show that isn't as famous as some, but still provides great musical satisfactions. Highlights early on are an excellent Miss 1/2 Step and Scarlet Begonias, and set 2 opens with a good China->Rider, but the meat of the tape is a great 2nd set jam suite of PITB->Wharf Rat->Truckin->Nobody's jam->PITB.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-07-21.sony22p.bertrando-miller.88553.sbeok.flac16

[EDIT: Elbow1126 pointed out that there are two Miller transfers and this one is an upgrade, thanks]

The playin jam starts out and bobby and phil take the lead, with jerry starting his lines gracefully, stepping forward gradually (4:00-4:30). Keith gets assertive around 5:30 and prods the music forward. Things start to really open after 7:00 as the tempo downshifts slightly and the sounds becomes a bit more sustained. Jerry starts some of his characteristic rapid lines but the harmony has already shifted off the basic foundation and he departs from those ideas to new territory by 9:00. By 10:00 it sounds like we are headed towards meltdown. Keith and Billy keep the music moving forward but after 11:00 Jerry plays a couple of his "shrieking rapid repeated note" figures that usually signal the band to go out, and from 12:00 we enter the characteristic noise/free jazz realm of a lot of 73-74 meltdowns. Things get pretty hairy, but by 14:00 the storm has passed and the music becomes quiet, and a nice passage of "Jerry floating free" ensues with abstract Garcia lines accompanied by percussive Phil and Weir. At 15:45 a very good sudden shift happens as Jerry starts a rapid rotating idea that the band latches onto, and Garcia drives it as a pretty hard tweak, until the band starts to coalesce into a rhythm under him after 17:00 and there is a nice passage where Garcia and the rest of the band sort of grind the gears of the ideas together until things fall into a mesh after 18:00 and a kind of hybrid rock/funk beat takes shape, and by 20:00 the band has worked its way to a pretty standard blues groove, and after it sounds like it will be shifting into the Spanish Jam, Jerry drops the Wharf Rat strum and the band smoothly adjusts behind him to create a smooth and natural transition. The whole instrumental preceding is a perfect example of the really free and flexible jamming the clarity of the Wall of Sound enabled the musicians to perform.

The vocals may be slightly faint on this recording, but the tones of guitars recorded beautifully and all the details of the way the "Wharf Rat" instrumental parts mesh have a great rich and resonant sound. After the singing concludes, the concluding jam is brief, but sets up a really perfect transition to Truckin, where gradually all the instruments coalesce on the pulsing repeated E of the intro, let it spin for a moment, then tear into the Official Intro Riff and we are in the midst of a rolling, uptempo Truckin. The vocals may not pop, but check out the swagger of the shuffle! The rhythm stays tight and Jerry sharp as a razor for the outro jam, the whole band laying an excellent foundation for Garcia's leads. Everything builds nicely to the repeated chromatic walk-down climax, and the Nobody's Fault jam appears afterward, Truckin->Nobody's Fault jam being quite standard for the era. It is a brief waypoint along the way, though, because Kreutzmann picks up the rhythm and the band steps backs toward the Playin jam. The infinitely mutable contours of themes derived from the Main Ten serve the band well here, as the suite arcs towards its conclusion in the reprise. The crowd cheers as the theme slips into the final notch, and after the vocal section, the final jam over the Playin intro riff has a triumphant energy appropriate for the conclusion of another segment of vintage of 74.

EDIT: Can't believe I forgot to make a couple notes about one of the reasons (in addition to the fine moment-to-moment details) why I think this is a particularly well-crafted song sequence. The basic sequence of large scale harmonies is from Playin's two modes of D up to Wharf Rat on A, then further up (sharper on the circle of fiths) to Truckin, and the e minor of the Nobody's Fault jam brings the mode closer to an A mixolydian scale, so when the jam returns to Playin, the large scale harmonic motion has gone from a D tonic up to the dominant, then to the dominant of the dominant, back down to a dominant related harmony, and finally back to tonic. This kind of I -> V -> V of V -> ii -> I progression is very effective in creating a sense of travel and return.

Ship of Fools is a nice interlude after such an epic, and the next thing you know, Sugar Magnolia is signaling the end of another classic WoS show with some exuberant Jerry spirals atop Weir's crunching chords.


This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-07-21 11:56:34

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Jul 21, 2011 11:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

"The vocals may be slightly faint on this recording"

Methinks, you did not have Donna's contribution at the 2:15 mark in Playin' in mind when you wrote that. She sounds downright baby-labor angry.

TOOTMO

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jul 21, 2011 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Great review - appreciate it. This still remains one the highest in-person experiences I have ever been fortunate to have. In the PITB sequence there is probably the short Mind Left Body jam in history. Check in about 19:20-5. I think it lasts some 10 seconds before getting tweaked into something else. At least that's what I hear. :)

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 21, 2011 7:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Garcia tries, but Weir won't have it...

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jul 21, 2011 11:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Here's a page out of Monte's Taper Handbook

• excerpts from Sound System and The Crew

Ron Wickersham's technical description detailing the Wall of Sound is based on "the WOS system" that was used at this Hollywood Bowl show.
Rhino's GD archive photo from July 21, 1974
19740721_0966.jpg

Ron Wickersham's CAD drawing from July 21, 1974
dead-head_Monte-wall-of-sound-drawing.jpg

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I love that picture of the Wall so much I've been using it for my desktop wallpaper the past several months! Thanks for all the awesome stuff you contribute, I've spent a lot of time wrangling PA and recording gear in a semi-pro fashion as a musician and I've learned so much from all your posts. I always think it's hard for people who haven't had the experience of trying to set up, amplify, and record a band onstage to realize just how much goes into all the layers beyond just moving the fingers on the instruments.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 21, 2011 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Thanks for the great tour guide work!

Btw seems like they were thinking of the Nobody's Fault jam at the end of the first Playin ... of course you may have already said that (and probably noticed it, anyway) ... but it was interesting how that seemed to emerge for a moment and then they put it away for later.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 8:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Great ears AR! I heard the blues jam take shape, and then start to shift to the Spanish Jam before Jerry sends it into Wharf Rat, but I hadn't noticed the "Nobody's Fault" riff in the blues jam, even though I have listened to this show a lot, it's one of my favorites. Right after 19:50 I hear Jerry state the Nobody's Fault melody pretty clearly, now that you point it out.

Because "Nobody's Fault" is such a stereotypical blues melody, I had always heard Jerry's part right there as just standard blues licks and I never noticed what he was specifically referencing. Bob starts to play his spanish chords at 20:10 so that Nobody's tease goes very quickly.

These musical ideas can be juxtaposed on top of each other and still sound pretty sensible because e minor is the basic harmony that starts each of them.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jul 21, 2011 7:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I always thought this was an excellent show - love the recording, very clear & airy sound. An SBD would be almost pointless.
Ned Lagin says this was an "LSD night" for the band...

One interesting thing about the point when Garcia goes into Wharf Rat is that the jam seems to be just out of steam at that point. They'd been very locked-in throughout in their jazziest mode (especially notice how tight Keith is with the guitarists, first Weir and then Garcia), then in the last couple minutes they start fragmenting, undecided where to go - Weir is intent on doing the Spanish jam but Garcia doesn't want to do it. (They had, of course, done it on 7/19.) So Garcia apparently calls a halt to things and drops in Wharf Rat.
Then after they go through the Nobody's Fault theme for a bit, it sounds to me like it's Jerry who signals the return back to Playin' with a little climb, and the others are with him instantly.

And you didn't mention Seastones! I would think, with Phil + Ned + electronic weirdness, you'd be all over it....

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jul 21, 2011 3:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Ned Lagin says this was an "LSD night" for the band...

It was a peyote day and night for me. I guess we met in the middle. :)

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Well, Seastones is...even for me...kind of an artistic failure, even though I think it was a very Noble Experiment. Sometimes I hear things I find interesting, but in general, I don't find it very convincing as music, even within the context of experimental improvised electronic modern classical.

I wish I liked Seastones, I've tried to like Seastones, and I often "force myself" to listen to it, but no matter how hard I try, I always find myself watching the track timer and eagerly looking forward to "anything other than Seastones."

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jul 21, 2011 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

You pretty much described my feelings for the film, Blade Runner in that breakdown of Seastones.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 21, 2011 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I'm surprised that you seem to have found it a complete failure,while I get that it can lapse into dullness or noisemaking,there are some really intriguing and smart passages also.I find Ned Lagin to be an interesting character and very much enjoy each of his appearances with the GD,he added a pure out style that was a perfect compliment to their more experimental pieces at the exact right phase in the bands history.I wish Ned would have played with the band much more than he actually did.It also might have been interesting during the hiatus if Phil and Ned fleshed out the Seastones experiment with some extra musicians,say a cello,violin and maybe a few horns,I think it had potential.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I don't think it is a "complete" failure at all, and I didn't mean to imply it was a horrible disaster - it's just that in comparison to how good the 74 Grateful Dead was, even the best moments of Seastones seem pretty weak. To some extent I think the electronic instruments and sound manipulation tools they had were a little bit primitive and restricted their imagination. LIA has also posted some good comments from Ned Lagin about their collaboration, Ned doesn't seem to think they really hit the ball out of the park, either.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Jul 21, 2011 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

bkidwell. Love your posts, especially with you writing the times of what you are describing, that helps a lot. Great to see someone so excited about this music, our enthusiasm is encouraging

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jul 21, 2011 3:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I think this source might have one less tape gen before the transfer. I haven't done a direct comparison though.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-07-21.sony22p.bertrando-miller.88553.sbeok.flac16

edit, tape might be the same generation, but it appears to be an upgrade

more edits, just did a comparison on Scarlet, definitely an upgrade!

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2011-07-21 10:37:20

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2011-07-21 10:40:24

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 4:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Thanks for catching that, from the notes it looks like this transfer is an upgrade that was done from the original master. I hadn't noticed there were two different CM transfers available. I really love this recording and performance, it is up there with the Jerry Moore 74 auds for me.

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Poster: vapors Date: Jul 21, 2011 10:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: links

Thanks for another great write up. 74 is a year that has much I haven’t heard before, and appreciate the attention that it has been given of late.

There is something I notice at times when clicking on links that has had me wondering, and this is as good of place as any to inquire, seeing as you and elbow set up the perfect examples to demonstrate my point.

Why do some links (such as elbows) open a new (second) browser page, while other times (as with your link to the same show) just redirect to the linked page? This happens with other types of attachments and links too, like in all of Monte’s posts. Myself, I prefer to have a new page open up so I can refer back to the original post without closing the linked page.

For example, when I click on your link to listen to the show, I lose the page with your post, which I would like to read as I listen. Obviously I can work around that easy enough, but I thought I would put this question out there. Sorry for my wordiness, and believe me when I say I mean no offense by any of this. Just curious.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 10:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: links

I'm pretty sure the difference is that I'm just using the most basic html link tag, I'm not adding a target=_blank into it. I always use the right-click context menu in Firefox to choose to open links in a new tab or window if I prefer that.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 21, 2011 8:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I have to thank you also for this great guide, with the signposts along the way - it really added to my enjoyment of this particular sequence. The musical/technical guide was also helpful. I found the transition from the Nobody's Fault jam back to Playin rather jarring, but not for key-related issues - it just felt like there was still something left to play... like somebody picked the needle up off the record and dropped it ahead. (especially since all the other transitions were so smooth)

My question is this: would the band ( or any band ) be thinking about the theory/musical sequence as you noted "the large scale harmonic motion has gone from a D tonic up to the dominant, then to the dominant of the dominant, back down to a dominant related harmony, and finally back to tonic" WHILE they are playing it? Is it planned that way, or just happens? Does dropping in the Spanish Jam in place of Wharf Rat totally screw up that journey around the circle, at least technically? Or does it fit the same scheme?

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 21, 2011 10:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

I think there is an intuitive sense of what "sounds right" that musicians have which will tend to keep key sequences somewhat harmonious even without any intellectual awareness of trying to do so. The only specific comment I saw in an interview was a comment about trying to avoid sequences that sound too similar, I think Jerry said "If Weir has just done a blues in E, I won't do a blues in E" - although semi-ironically, from my perception, is that a big jam with blues elements centered around E was actually one of the GD's most common elements, because Truckin, He's Gone, Other One, Smokestack Lightning, Nobody's Fault but Mine are all songs that center around E and make use of a lot of blues-related material. Of course, the Other One is certainly not a blues, but the triplet rhythm and pentatonic runs certainly fit into that context, which is exactly why the Truckin Other One pairing was so natural.

I doubt anyone but Phil in the band was very likely to have much awareness of the systematic theory of tonal relationships on the larger scale, rock musicians just never talk about stuff like secondary dominants and establishing a large-scale tonic for multiple songs.

I think that the most musically valid ideas will tend to sound the best, so I suspect there is a subconscious, indirect influence. Any time the band used a "sandwich" structure to organize a set, that inevitably creates a sense of travel away and return to a musical base, so there is kind of a large scale tonicization that takes place within that structure, regardless of the exact keys used.

In general we hear motion to keys with more sharps as being bright and energetic, and motion to keys with less sharps as being relaxed and spacious, and musicians tend to internalize that and deploy it instinctively.

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Jul 21, 2011 12:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

Truckin' and Other one may not be blues in terms of song structure, but they both make extensive use of the E blues scale.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 21, 2011 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

wow... for me this is kind of an "aha" moment. As a rank amateur musician (hand me my old guitar) I've naturally been curious how so many of these combinations work, and unlocking them is a wonderful thing.

I agree that JG's statement about the blues in E is ironic- when you push past all the songs they did in G-C-D or C-F-G, a great many center around very similar riffs in E as you mentioned - wouldn't these also include Don't Ease, Althea, Brown-Eyed Women and others. (edit - also New Speedway Boogie, New Minglewood Blues...)

I don't know about everyone else - but I love these musical discussions (esp. words like "tonicization". Much gratitude for your posts.

This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2011-07-21 18:04:56

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Jul 21, 2011 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH 1974

i agree. I just wish I knew what they meant. I've been meaning to learn music but I just never get around to it. It would definitely clarify more of whats going on, but its all so cosmic that maybe im better in my nebula.